Ireland Consumer Confidence February 2016


Ireland: Consumer confidence drops in February from January's 15-year high

March 8, 2016

In February, the KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index eased from January’s 15-year high of 108.6 points to 105.8 points. In the survey report, KBC pointed out that February’s result was driven by a more pessimistic outlook on household spending power. Irish consumers in February were less optimistic regarding the extent to which the economic recovery will translate into improved financial circumstances. KBC noted that February’s slip was not alarming considering that post-Christmas bills at the start of the year tend to cause a scaling back of spending intentions, and greater global economic uncertainty also weighed on the index. Against this backdrop, the reading mostly suggests greater caution rather than a major loss of confidence.

KBC also stated that, “as is usually the case after Christmas and new-year spending, consumers’ buying plans were scaled back in February; but the monthly decline in this element of the survey was relatively modest. This suggests consumer spending should continue to increase but it hints that the pace of growth may not pick up much in early 2016.”

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to expand 3.2% in 2016, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2017, the panel sees private consumption increasing 2.5%.

Author: Jean-Philippe Pourcelot, Economist

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Ireland Consumer Confidence Chart

Ireland Consumer Confidence February 2016

Note: The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index.
Source: The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

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